Skip main navigation

£199.99 £139.99 for one year of Unlimited learning. Offer ends on 28 February 2023 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply

Find out more

Agri-tech at Askham Bryan College

Agricultural innovations improve agricultural processes. Watch this video to learn more about agritech at Askham Bryan College.
Agricultural technology or agritech refers to innovations, which can be products or services, that improve agricultural processes. Agritech aims to improve yields and efficiency and, ultimately, profitability. Here are some examples of agritech used at Askham Bryan College. Over the last three years, many farms have started to use robotic milkers, with approximately 1 in 10 UK herds now milked robotically. These systems can be highly efficient, allowing the cows to be milked as and when they choose. It is also a high-welfare option for dairy herds, resulting in consistent milk quality and hygiene. If cows haven’t been into the robot to be milked, text notifications will be sent to alert staff. However, although staff labour time is reduced, good stock husbandry is still important.
A robotic milker is not a substitute for a herdsperson who can monitor cattle welfare and spot signs of disease. Start up costs are high. 1 robotic milker typically would have the capacity to milk 55 cows. A shortage of dairy farm workers in the UK has probably contributed to the surge in numbers of robotic milkers now in operation. The robotic milker also generates a huge amount of useful data, allowing farmers to make accurate and precise decisions affecting yield, milk quality and feed intake. This data analysis improves farm performance and enables farms to meet sustainability and welfare targets. Feed refresher robots use a rotating action to refresh the feed and reposition it back onto the feed bunk.
This makes the feed fresher and more attractive to cows therefore increasing consumption. More feed intake means more milk! The robotic feed fresher is programmed to travel down the feed line every 2 hours around the clock. It is ideal for farms that feed their cows once daily as it ensures fresh feed 24/7 and reduces labour time spent pushing up the feed with a tractor. All farmers are obsessed with the weather! Weather stations used on farms have the ability to monitor weather patterns and trends from the data collected, which helps inform cropping decisions and performance.
Live, localised weather information is also available for day to day management decisions such as timings of operations out in the field, animal welfare and husbandry; Do we bring the sheep in to lamb? Or leave them out? Global Positioning Systems (GPS) have led the tech revolution in agriculture. Improvements in technology since the late nineties has resulted in auto-steer and guidance which are accurate to within 2cm. Efficiency and sustainability are key drivers to use such technology on farm. This technology helps farmers make decisions about drainage, weed control, fertilizer, and seeding.
Agricultural technology or agritech refers to innovations, which can be products or services, that improve agricultural processes.

In this video you can see three examples of agritech in action: a robotic milker, Opti Duo Feed Refresher and a weather station. All of these innovations are used at Askham Bryan College to improve farming yields and efficiency.

This article is from the free online

Bioeconomy: How Renewable Resources Can Help the Future of Our Planet

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education